Miscellany- November 6th

Popping in quick to ask you a couple questions as well as tell you a few things!

1) First and foremost,

The Miracle Baby is One year old today! Hurray for Hamish, we are so happy he’s happy, healthy and ONE! Everyone is always commenting on how much he smiles, because he is a cheerful baby. We had a fun little Halloween get together last weekend and celebrated his birthday then.

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2) What do you want to see on Venison for Dinner?

I asked it over on Facebook, but I’ll ask it here too. I’m working on a list of things to post about and I want your input! Do you have questions you want me to answer in a Q&A Post? Is there recipes of a genre you want more of? DO YOU WANT TO SEE MORE PICTURES OF MY CUTE KIDS AND COW!? I thought so. I genuinely do want to know, so whether on Facebook, Instagram or in the comments here, tell me what you want to see.

3) Applesauce!

The apples I shared a picture of in the Bounty within the Homestead are currently being made into sauce. I don’t seem to have the oomph for applesauce making this year, but if I don’t, I’ll regret it as I really enjoy applesauce! Do you make applesauce?

4) I’ve felt so content…

I can’t explain it beyond feeling very content in my life. This is a wonderful feeling that I’ve never felt in this way before. I’ve always been happy, but we recently made some decisions that give an overall sense of peace and happiness in our life. Amidst a life that is crazy busy with two kids, a milking cow and many other projects on the go, this is a pretty neat thing to have. I encourage you to cut back, or try new things if you don’t feel you’re very content at this point. I know that could be a whole post on it’s own, but I guess I’m simply saying, I wasn’t happy with certain aspects in my life, we made some tough decisions, changed a couple things, and now I’m reaping the hard earned benefits of that.

5) Hunting season is in full swing!

Is there hunting going on where you are? Are you or your spouse hunting? A friend came by today to pick up a couple deer hides for tanning as well as the liver, kidneys and heart from the last deer (We don’t prefer them and were happy to share!) and when she looked in my freezer she said “Wow, you’re rich!” I knew she didn’t mean it in a ‘You’re very monetarily wealthy’ way, but in a WOW, look at this bounty you’ve socked away this season. And I realize we’re very blessed to have access to the produce and meat we do, but it also takes a lot of darn work. It’s worth it, but her saying that made me think that yes, that work is worth it, we may not be monetarily wealthy but we have a bounty of nourishing foods to eat!

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So tell me whats going on around your place?

Farm Fresh Fridays- Bounty within the Homestead

farm fresh friday

The other day I was walking around outside at my Moms house. The boys were playing, My sister was there with her girls and I couldn’t help but take pictures and soak in the beauty of the day. I’m drawn to food, it’s who I am. Looking at the photos as I uploaded them, I couldn’t help but notice this huge bounty that could be had right at my Moms house.

Garlic grown in the garden. Mom was taking off excess paper to put it in the turkey brine. My Stepdad raised turkeys this year for the second time. We were blessed with a close to 35 pound turkey for Thanksgiving dinner!

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I take it for granted that herbs grow outside year round, but it’s another blessing to have fresh rosemary available for my roast potatoes!

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Molly and I were learning about growing calendula, as we enjoy using it in salves. How silly of us that it was actually growing right under our noses at my Moms house! Must pick and dry that to infuse in olive oil!

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I have sentimental attachment to these flowers…they were planted for my wedding! I wanted Dahlias EVERYWHERE. Then it was a cold spring and they didn’t grow in time. Instead, when they come up every year we have a laugh about us trying to grow flowers for my wedding.

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My Mom saved her own pepper seeds last year and grew them from seeds! (Tomatoes too!) So fun to see the full circle that way.

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Ahhh…yes….GMO free eggs. I feel like a rogue egg eater having these in my possesion. I feel wealthy with a dozen of these.

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More of the lovely wedding Dinner Plate Dahlias.

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Here is an example of Curse becomes blessing. Triplets were born to a sheep this spring and Mom left them all on. Well, one just became a stunted runt, so we cooked it over a fire for a fun evening of fellowship with friends and family. We’ve since discussed taking off a triplet should it happen next year and raising it on cows milk since we have abundance of that!

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Apples! Waiting for sauce! I don’t know what I’d do if I had to buy applesauce…just doesn’t compare.

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This whole farming thing…we may never be rich…we may not sleep in due to cows…but we sure eat like Kings!

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Writing a post like this is therapeutic. How can I not look back on these photos, and feel uplifted?

What blessings do you see within your home or homestead?

Rustic Fruit Tart+Announcement!

I’ve been gone for an embarrissingly long time. I’m sorry, will you forgive me? See the thing is, I’ve been really busy. Not just your average “Oh I’m been busy” statement.

 

I’ve been growing a baby.

 

Wooohooo! I’m just entering my second trimester, and hoping the nausea and exhaustion will wane a bit, as I honestly haven’t planned a menu or cooked much of a real dinner in about 6-7 weeks. Lots of snacks. My poor poor Cowboy. Lucky for you, shortly before this onslaught, I did bake a rustic fruit tart and take a picture for you! And since this was approximately 7 weeks ago, I now want to go make one right now. Dang it. (Don’t have time, need to milk the cow in an hour!)

 

I’ve been making this for eons. Or as much as a 20 year old could have baked in their life. It’s the perfect palette for whatever fruit is in season, your fridge or your freezer. This one was rhubarb, peach and cranberries. The cranberries were just a hint, enough to add a zing. I find it much easier than a dish pie to make and it’s great for a casual dessert, yet has a rustic greatness that you could put on any fancy plate to dress it up. No plate needed! So take it to a summer bbq and share it around.

 

I hope you enjoy it, because it’s a family favourite!

Rustic Fruit Tart

Makes 8 slices

 

Dough:

1 1/3 c flour (your mix of white+whole wheat+pastry flour+fresh ground flour+hint of spelt)

3 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

7 tbsp cold cubed butter

water

 

Filling:

3/4 c sugar (lower or increase for your taste and fruit tanginess)

1/4 c flour

lemon zest (optional)

cinnamon

3-4 c fruit, fresh or still frozen if using from freezer. (Be creative! Fall fruits in fall, summer fruits in summer if you really want to show case the seasons. I’ve used frozen tropical fruit mix before at my Dad’s and it was great)

2 tbsp butter

 

Glaze:

1/4 c icing sugar

1 1/2 tsp milk

vanilla/almond extract

 

Filling: Combine all ingredients and stir together.

Dough:

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry blender (or grate frozen butter). Add enough water to form a dough. Knead a few times for it to hold together. Roll our on a cookie sheet/pizza pan to a 14″ circle. (Alternatively flour your counter, roll it out and transfer.) Pour filling on dough and spread out to within 2″ of the edge. Fold over those edges!

Bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes. When you bake it, juices will go all over the pan, and most likely burn or heavily brown a bit. Put it on tinfoil or parchment to save clean-up. It’ll still turn out just great and come off the pan fine! Cool slightly, then drizzle with glaze.

 

Glaze: Mix all together in a bowl. Add more milk if needed to get desired consistensy. It needs to be pourable but not so that it will run off of the tart.

 

 

Someone can’t wait to dig in!

Spilled Milk-A life lesson

Everyone tells you,

Don’t cry over spilled milk

And you laugh, because it’s funny, and why would you cry over a bit of spilled milk.

 

 

And then it happens. Picture this on a dark and stormy night in 2008

It’s dark out, you’re with your then boyfriend heading to milk the cow.

It’s late, you were late getting to it, and it’s really dark.

Which sucks for milking, by the way.

Before you know it, you’re into it, finally enjoying it, and the 14 litre stainless steel bucket is ringing with the squirts of warm, steaming milk.

Before you know it there is ten litres in the bucket.

This is exciting, because it’s the most we’d ever gotten.

The black cat, Panther, slips up into the stall, enjoying the light our headlamp brings.

Enjoying the heat our cow gives off.

And then it happens.

The cow sees the cat.

The cat perks up and notices the cow.

The cow startles and kicks the bucket.

10 litres of warm, foaming, hard earned milk goes flowing out of the stall and soaks into the ground.

You cry, because you’re pregnant, because your hands are sore for nothing and you cry at everything.

Your boyfriend is pissed off, because we needed that milk.

We needed that milk to nourish our bodies. 

And then you realize it.

That there is nothing you can do about it, what’s done is done.

It’s gone, kaput, down the drain.

So while I cried about it, there was no use, I couldn’t change what happened and I learned not to cry over spilled milk.

 

 

We’ve found that many euphanisms that come from farming have more truth then you know. The day we were giving injections to sick pigs, we learnt many.

“Squeal like a pig”

Yup, that hurt my ears.

“Eyes like a pig”

Golly, those are tiny little beaty eyes.

“Squeal like a stuck pig”

Well darn, it sure did holler loud when I put it in a corner.

So now when I spill milk, whether it’s because the cow kicked the bucket (luckily we’ve never lost a whole bucket again), or you walked to fast with a full bucket and a bit sloshed out. Or you were filling your toddlers bottle and this happens:

You laugh, because in the grand scheme of things?

 

A little spilled is not worth your tears and frustrations.

Uncle Bear

When Drillerman was gone last, I wrote a little post about him, it made Gingersnap happy.

 

Wait, was it last time he was gone? Or the time before? The time before maybe? I don’t know, but right now he’s gone again. If you’re reading this Drillerman? Gingersnap says you can come home now, she’ll even shave her legs!

 

Back to the original topic of course, that being one of my other brother-in-laws. (I have 5 all together!) Uncle Bear and my Sister #2 moved away with my precious Amy Jane a gazillion years ago.

 

Oh it was only the middle of April? It felt like forever. I really miss Amy. I mean all of them. So Uncle Bear (That’s what Mac calls him), went drilling, just like Drillerman, of course, and Amy Jane really misses him. I mean, I’m sure Sister #2 does, I know she does.

 

But it hurts a lot more when this gal does.

How sweet is she?!

 

So in lieu of whining more about Uncle Bear being gone, and Amy Jane missing him so much. I’m going to share a couple pictures of Uncle Bear, along with what is so neat about him! Just like I did with Drillerman.

(Can you TELL I’m aiming for brownie points that will get my babysitting with Sister #2 come to visit next week!?)

 

A year ago, Cowboy, with the help of Stepdad and Uncle Bear, set up and poured concrete in my Mom’s carport and down below in her porch. Looks 10000X better now of course! These are the only photos I could find of him on my computer!

 

 

It’s safe to say he was the Wheelbarrow B*tch here!

Uncle Bear is really hard working.

 

He likes to eat, and that’s an understatement.

 

Protein is his friiiiend.

 

He makes wicked cottage cheese pancakes!

 

But I’ve never seen him make anything else.

 

Beside Roobis Tea of course. He drinks that like it’s going out of style baby!

 

He likes to chill with Amy Jane and watch a movie.

 

Or doing crazy things like go for runs or push ups or pull ups or WHATEVER.

 

Oh, and I lied. I found another picture of him on my computer. He was berry picking.

 

 

YES!

 

Bathroom Update!

So the incubator is gone now. I bleached the bathroom with a enviro friendly hydrogen peroxide bleach.

 

Uhhhm *cough cough* WARNING: When using hydrogen peroxide bleach, beware of open cut on end of your finger?

 

Okay, we’re good now? Yup, okay, you’re not going to do what I do and end up with the end of your finger fizzing?

 

So I washed the floor, the counters, the bathtub, the sink the toilet. It felt really good.

 

Incubator OUT—-Cleanliness IN!

 

Except now we’ve got this issue again, but with the dehydrator! In a period of two days I got given a whole lot of green onions and parsley from a green-thumbed 75+ swiss neighbour and cases of mango went on sale. Being the crazy lady I am I bought 3 cases, aka 36 mangos. Also there is a case of mangos in my Mom’s cool room that she’ll probably forget about and I’ll end up dealing with!

So while it’s totally fantastic because Cowboy loves dried mango and this is sulphite and sugar free, my bathroom is yet again taken over. And he eats most of it the second it comes out of the dehydrator. So does Emilie. It’s a little ridiculous.

 

P.S. It’s totally fantastic also, how in the picture you can see me wearing black and it looks like I’m wearing a cute dress or outfit of somesort.

(Sporting a lovely Slegg lumber work shirt of Cowboy’s and his uber comfy bamboo boxers. I just got up, give me a break here.)

 

So I just thought I needed to point this all out, how I am my own worst nightmare.

(trays waiting to have more mango on them)

 

Just a second, I’ll be right back, my 2 year old thinks he needs a tampon in.

So I only have 8 mangos left to do

But all’s well in our house and I’m slowly working away at it.

 

In also good news, our washing machine is working again! Yaaay! I’ve been using our landlords while they are away. Our dryer also isn’t working which sucks, but there is a laundry line.

 

Alls well Charlie Brown!

 

xoxo Kate

Blogs I <3

Anyone in my family can tell you Im a wee bit obsessed with reading blogs. I just love them. I think they are so neat! Here is some that I read on a regular basis! In support of my fellow bloggers, I would love if you would check them all out! They are all fantastic blogs.

Four Little Fergusons

Tonya from Kansas writes this blog, and she is an amazing woman of God, who writes about their daily life with 4 little kids, her husband, recipes and all things Godly.

Easy Gluten Free Goodies

The name says it all, but these treats are also dairy free and frugal, as this young mama of two lives on a tight budget. A must read for those who have these diet restrictions, or looking for a recipe to cook for someone who does. (Her husband is my first cousin!)

Ni Hao Y’all

Would you believe me if I told you she has 10 kids? This blogs writes about their daily life with major focus on God and adoption.

The Pioneer Woman

This blog is about life on a working cattle ranch, cooking, homeschooling, photography you name it! So fun. This was one of the first blogs I started reading.

How Sweet It Is

All about food, with emphasis on bacon, baking and butter. Do I have you hooked yet?

$5 Dinner Mom

Fantastic frugal recipes, tips and coupons that apply if you’re in the states.

Dinner: A Love Story

Great recipes, trials and tribulations of having picky eaters, and encouragment for eating dinner together every night.

Weekly Bite

Food, cute kid pictures, interior decorating, what more could you want?!

Cabin Fever in Vermont

Firefighter, ambulance and nurse life, with lots of gorgeous photos.

Rhubarb and Venison

Nummy nummy cooking and recipes!! Doncha just love the name?

Our Busy Homeschool

Great Homeschooling help from a mama of 6 with one on the way! She also writes about daily life.

The Girls Guide to Guns and Butter

Absolutely delicious recipes, How-to’s and many things about hunting, fishing and homesteading. She takes great photos as well.